From Filmento’s YouTube description: As if 2019’s Charlie’s Angels reboot wasn’t already a failure enough, Kristen Stewart returns in yet another forgettable box office flop that nobody saw, Underwater. This time it’s an original movie that sold back in 2015, and even though there are positive aspects about it, overall all it ends up being is yet another reason after Gemini Man for Hollywood not to make original material. The main problem here is that Underwater completely fails at being the very thing it tries so hard to be: an underwater version of Ridley Scott’s Alien. Today let’s see what went wrong. Here’s how not to Alien.
Also known as: Alien 0 (working title)
Release Date: April 11th, 2012 (Paris premiere)
Directed by: Ridely Scott
Written by: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Music by: Marc Streitenfeld
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron, Benedict Wong, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Kate Dickie, Emun Elliot, Patrick Wilson, Ian Whyte, Daniel James
Dune Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, 20th Century Fox, 124 Minutes
“Big things have small beginnings.” – David
I remember initially liking this when it came out but the more I thought about it, processed everything that happened and then applied it all to my knowledge of the long running Alien franchise, it all started to fall apart.
I think what happened was that I was effected by the film in the same way that J. J. Abrams movies effect me, initially. I’m overloaded by a rapid pace, random shit happening so fast I can’t process it, constant information dumps and then a big, over the top, action-filled finale that serves to be a gargantuan exclamation point on a big smorgasbord of “what the fuck?”
Ultimately, this movie doesn’t make any fucking sense. And that really fucking sucks because it has some really good things working for it that lose their effect because the human brain isn’t made to process bullshit, especially at the pace that the Micro Machines commercial dude could spout off a run-on sentence like this one.
Prometheus was probably my most anticipated film of 2012. I was ecstatic for it and I was sold on the trailers. But upon seeing it, something didn’t feel right, it’s like my brain was pre-programmed to love it and I didn’t want to feel what I was really feeling underneath it all: disappointment and confusion.
It’s a disjointed clusterfuck of a movie, poorly written with contrivances, conveniences, random weirdness and some horrendously bad dialogue that made me feel bad for the superbly talented cast that had to stumble throughout this picture.
For instance, the scene where Charlize Theron reveals that Guy Pearce is her father was absolute fucking cringe. How does that happen in a scene with just Charlize Theron and Guy Pearce? They’re fucking legends at this point!
Every development in this movie was nonsensical and contradictory to the personalities that were established for its characters. All the weird alien twists and turns didn’t add up and just created more questions than this film tried to answer.
In fact, even though this movie does clue you in to the origin of the alien xenomorph species (and the human race), it creates more questions, builds more mystery and turns what should have been a really simple and cool plot into something so damn messy that a team of mental hospital janitors on cocaine couldn’t keep up with the diarrhea spilling out on the floor from the writers’ asses.
What’s with the black goo? What’s with the alien cobras? What’s with the squid that turned massive in an hour? What’s with the weird looking xenomorph? Why did the Engineers on the holographic replay run into the room with the dangerous shit? How did David know what to do with any of this shit? Why did we need the Weyland side plot? Hell, why didn’t they just cast an old guy instead of forcing Guy Pearce into an old man mask from Spencer’s? What’s with the ginger chickenshit turning into a space zombie with a ballooned out head? Why did the Engineer ignore Elizabeth but then go way out of his way to track her down to kill her later? Why did the women run in the path of the giant ship rolling towards them and not cut left or right? After the ship took off, crashed and then rolled like a renegade tire, why was David laying in the same spot where he got his head ripped off? How did his head not pinball around the ship? Why the fuck did I watch this a second time?
Prometheus is incompetent. It’s so incompetent that it hurts and frankly, I don’t think I was initially suppressing these feelings and observations, I think that I was just overwhelmed by how much bullshit was forced down my throat that I couldn’t make sense out of any of it. I was hit in the brain with a sledgehammer nearly every five minutes for two hours straight. Frankly, it took seven years for me to collect my thoughts and give this picture a second viewing.
I thought that maybe I was overreacting and that maybe I missed some glue that held it all together. Nope, it’s still shit. And it absolutely fucking sucks because this shouldn’t have been a clusterfuck of biblical proportions. It should’ve set some things up easily and then followed the framework established by the original film. Hell, it could’ve followed the second film or even combined the two. This isn’t rocket surgery!
Anyway, when I saw Alien: Covenant, I initially thought that it was worse than this but it’s not. That’s still a shitty film for the most part but this thing takes the cake.
Prometheus is insulting. It believes that it is some great mystery and highly intelligent film. It isn’t. In fact, it actually feels like my fifteen year-old cousin’s fan fiction work for his blog that has seven followers after two years. I try and give the kid advice but he just goes, “Fuck off, boomer!” Whatever, I’m Gen-X, bitch and your shipping of Hicks and Bishop is just weird.
Pairs well with: it’s direct sequel Alien: Covenant and the other Alien films other than the first two, which are far superior to anything else the franchise has done since.
Published: August 6th, 2019
Written by: Johnnie Christmas, William Gibson
Art by: Johnnie Christmas, Tamra Bonvillain
Based on: William Gibson’s unused Alien 3 script
Dark Horse, 138 Pages
I’ve heard great things about William Gibson’s original script for Alien 3, which was drastically different than the film we got in 1992. So when news came out that it was going to be adapted in comic book form, I was pretty stoked to check it out.
As far as the story goes, I like it more than the film. It was a lot more interesting and took the franchise in an interesting and very different direction. However, some of the more bizarre parts of the script were then used in the 4th Alien film a few years later.
But even though the story was good, the execution in this comic book was not.
It lacked suspense for the most part and the story is really a thriller more than it is a horror movie for the first two acts. In fact, we don’t really get some solid xenomorph action until the fourth of these five issues.
Also, the story seems like it would work better in the film medium. It’s a very wordy story with lots of dialogue, plotting and scheming. Not to mention a great deal of science stuff. It’s interesting but it doesn’t make for an interesting comic book when that’s mostly all you get for the first 60 percent of the tale.
Additionally, the art isn’t very good. It’s not terrible and it is mostly competent but it doesn’t feel as good as it should be on a book of this caliber.
Overall, this is worth giving a read if you are interested in the original idea for the film but you could also just read the script. I know it’s floating around out there, somewhere.
Pairs well with: other Alien comics from Dark Horse.
Published: July 6th, 2016
Written by: Corinna Sara Bechko
Art by: Javier Garcia-Miranda
Based on: Aliens by Dan O’Bannon & Ronald Shusett, Vampirella by Forrest J. Ackerman
Dynamite Entertainment, Dark Horse, 184 Pages
This crossover came out a few years back but I guess I didn’t notice it. 2016 was a weird year for me and I was working more than a normal human being should.
I was stoked to check this out now, though, as I’m a big fan of both the Alien franchise and Vampirella.
Overall, this was a pretty good, action packed, violent and intense comic. It even brought in some Nosferatu-looking vampires to mix it up with the alien xenomorphs. There’s this great sequence where a vampire bites a xenomorph in the neck and then has his face melted off from the acid blood.
I only have two complaints about Aliens/Vampirella.
The first and most important is that this is a Vampirella comic. Therefore, why the hell is she wearing a jumpsuit throughout the entire story? You only see her in her regular outfit in one panel where she first wakes up from deep sleep due to space travel. After that panel, she’s dressed like a Ghostbuster for all six issues.
For those bitching about how her outfit objectifies women, you’ve probably never read Vampirella. Also, comic books are a visual artistic medium that presents its heroes in ideal forms. It’s not real, it’s escapism and entertainment. It’s fantasy and when there are hot girls in my fantasy, they aren’t wearing jumpsuits. She should be in her traditional outfit or a variation of it. I mean, you don’t dress up Batman like an accountant, do you?
The second complaint is that once you get to the end, it ends really abruptly. It’s like, “Ha! We escaped!” Then, “Boom! The End!” It doesn’t wreck the comic but it felt like it could have been paced a bit better to pad out the conclusion a wee bit more.
Other than that, I liked the story for the most part and the art was mostly solid. Some panels, but very few, felt like they were rushed.
In the end, this was a fun read for fans of either or both franchises.
Pairs well with: other Vampirella and Alien crossovers, as both franchises have had many.
Published: February 6th, 2018
Written by: John Layman
Art by: Chris Mooneyham
Based on: Predator by Jim Thomas and John Thomas, Alien by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, Judge Dredd by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra and Pat Mills
Dark Horse Books, 101 Pages
Well, this was underwhelming. But most Alien Vs. Predator crossovers that include other franchises don’t ever seem to deliver.
The thought of Judge Dredd fighting Predators and Aliens got me excited. It looks damn good on paper but the execution here was pretty shoddy.
The biggest problem with the story is that there was too much strange shit going on. The main villain was a mad scientist that made animal/human hybrids and called them Ani-Men, which I’m pretty sure is the name of a supervillain team that Marvel has used as far back as the 1960s.
My gripe about this part of the plot is that it takes up most of it. This story arc is made up of just four single issues, there isn’t room to dillydally. We didn’t need this and while it was used to introduce the alien xenomorphs to the story, the plot didn’t need to get fixated on this other, unimportant stuff.
All you need to do to kick off this story is have a Predator ship crash in Mega-City One. The crash releases alien xenomorphs and Predators that were fighting on board. Judge Dredd shows up to investigate the crash site and BOOM! you now have Predator Vs. Judge Dredd Vs. Aliens. It writes itself.
The comic dumps all this side story crap in your lap early on and it takes too long to get to the good stuff in a comic without a lot of room the breathe. Once the cool stuff starts, it feels incredibly rushed. There’s no real build of suspense or terror. Plus, Dredd and the Predators team up rather quickly and don’t have much of their own conflict.
This wasn’t a total dud but it just doesn’t live up to what one should expect from from these three badass franchises coming together.
I think that crossovers like this are typically rushed and looked at as a good way to make a quick buck but if the editors actually put a bit more care into these events, we could have better stories, slicker art and something that balances out multiple franchises in a way that makes more sense and respects their spirit.
Pairs well with: any Alien Vs. Predator comic series or Judge Dredd crossover.
I was really excited when this came out because I love both Alien and Predator franchises and especially love when they come together. Well, maybe not in the movies but I always liked the Alien vs. Predator comics, as well as the video games before this one. That old Atari Jaguar game was great for the time.
This boasts good graphics, solid maps and the ability to play as a Predator, an alien or a human space marine. There are three different story routes and a lot of cool game play options.
One thing puts a real damper on this game for me though and that’s the overly complicated controls. I typically play as a Predator because why wouldn’t I? Predators are the friggin’ best and I can turn invisible and violently rip enemies to shreds with my knife gauntlet or blast them into smithereens with my shoulder cannon.
But that’s the problem. Predators can do too many awesome things that keeping track of it all, in the heat of battle, is sometimes difficult. Playing as an Alien xenomorph or a human isn’t that much easier either. Running around as a xenomorph can be very disorienting.
I think that this game was a good step in the right direction for what this needed to be but maybe it needed more refinement. And the learning curve to get the controls down is tough. One certainly can’t be ready to be thrown to the wolves after the weak and brief tutorial mission.
This is a lot of fun once you do get the hang of it though but it seems to lack in replayability.
Pairs well with: Other Alien vs. Predator games and similar sci-fi/horror first person shooters.
Also known as: AvP2, Alien vs. Predator: Survival of the Fittest (working titles), Colorado Nights (fake working title), AvPR (short title)
Release Date: December 25th, 2007
Directed by: The Brothers Strause
Written by: Shane Salerno
Based on: characters by Dan O’Bannon & Ronald Shusett and Jim Thomas & John Thomas
Music by: Brian Tyler
Cast: Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, Ariel Gade, Sam Trammell, Robert Joy
Davis Entertainment, Dune Entertainment, Brandywine Productions, 20th Century Fox, 94 Minutes, 102 Minutes (Unrated Version)
“This plan is stupid. Let’s just leave town now.” – Dale
The quote I used above is the same thing I said to my friends when they planned to see this movie. No, really… it is.
I wasn’t too enthused about going to this picture because I wasn’t much of a fan of its predecessor. Being that this was a sequel to that, I figured it’d be even worse. It was.
Granted, I did like the setting and what this film could have been.
It didn’t take place inside of some subterranean bullshit temple under Antarctica. This was set in small town Colorado and featured forests and an environment similar to the original Predator while also having a feeling similar to First Blood, the greatest of all Rambo movies.
Additionally, this film gave us the Predalien, a hybrid of both ultraviolent alien species, which on paper, should have been an incredibly formidable beast that upped the ante, threw this thing into high gear and pretty much should have been able to rule the world with its minions and babies.
What we got though was a dull movie where the filmmakers didn’t seem to care too much about the Alien and Predator franchises and really just wanted to make a gore filled slasher flick with aliens. And not even a good slasher flick, which are really hard to screw up because slasher fans have such a low bar and really just want to see a cool monster and a lot of creative yet violent killing. These directors were handed two of the absolute coolest monsters in motion picture history and they still couldn’t make it work.
The biggest blight on this film is the cast. Pretty much everyone is horrible in this. Not a single character is remotely likable and you certainly don’t care when their life is in danger.
The incapable cast and aimless direction made this a spectacle of violence where there was no tension and no real drama. No one mattered, therefore it didn’t matter that the whole town was essentially just a meat processing plant for the monsters to tear through. When the whole town gets nuked at the end, you don’t give a single, solitary shit about it. You also don’t care whether or not the helicopter carrying the heroes is going to outrun the blast.
Why was this so bad? How was it so carelessly crafted?
At least it was rated R and had some solid gory bits but that certainly doesn’t give this thing the license to suck complete ass.
Pairs well with: The other films from the Alien and Predator franchises but this is the worst so any other film in the pairing would be a step up.
Also known as: AVP (promotional abbreviation), Alien Vs. Predator (short title)
Release Date: August 12th, 2004 (Puerto Rico & Thailand)
Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson
Written by: Paul W.S. Anderson, Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett
Based on: characters by Dan O’Bannon & Ronald Shusett and Jim Thomas & John Thomas
Music by: Harald Kloser
Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Lance Henriksen, Ewen Bremner, Tommy Flanagan
Davis Entertainment, Brandywine Productions, 20th Century Fox, 101 Minutes, 103 Minutes (extended cut), 109 Minutes (Unrated Version)
“I think this is a manhood ritual. The humaniod ones, they’ve been sent here to prove that they’re worthy to become adults.” – Sebastian de Rosa
I haven’t seen AVP: Alien Vs. Predator since it was in theaters. From what I remember of it, it was a massive disappointment and didn’t live up to the best either franchise had to offer.
Well, it was at least better than Alien: Resurrection but it didn’t come close to being as awesome as Alien 1 & 2 or the original Predator. Hell, Alien 3 and Predator 2 both kick this in the balls too.
But now having some distance, fourteen years to be exact, this wasn’t as bad as my memory of it and I at least found the experience of revisiting it, a bit amusing.
At the end of the day, this gives you exactly what the title implies. It gives you alien xenomorphs fighting against the Predators. Strip away everything else and a grudge match between these two alien species is still a main event worth having. I just wish that the story around it was better and fit the already established mythologies better.
Yes, there is a team of humans in this and frankly, you should already know that they are just meat to be ripped through, trapped in a war between two vicious species that don’t give a crap about collateral damage.
I didn’t care about any of the people in this film but it was neat seeing Lance Henriksen return to the franchise to play Weyland of the Weyland Corporation from the Alien films. Obviously, his appearance as that character was to show you that the android Bishop was modeled after his visage. Plus, I’ve always enjoyed Henriksen, so seeing him bring his level of gravitas to another action sci-fi film was cool. His demise in this was even cooler.
The problem with the film is that the action was lackluster, so it didn’t really make up for the bland story or bland characters. It was nice seeing Ewen Bremner and Tommy Flanagan pop up in this but they were just there to be eaten, really.
AVP is just a film that had so much potential. The comics were typically pretty good and so were the games that they did before (and after) this. This could have taken the best bits of those stories and turned them into a worthwhile movie. But we got this instead.
But hey, at least it’s better than its sequel.
Pairs well with: The other films from the Alien and Predator franchises.
Also known as: Alien 4 (working title)
Release Date: November 6th, 1997 (Paris premiere)
Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Written by: Joss Whedon
Based on: Charcaters created by Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett
Music by: John Frizzell
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Michael Wincott, Dan Hedaya, Brad Dourif, Ron Perlman, Gary Dourdan, Kim Flowers, Raymond Cruz, Dominique Pinon, Leland Orser
Brandywine Productions, 20th Century Fox, 109 Minutes, 116 Minutes (Special Edition)
“[voiceover] My mommy always said there were no monsters. No real ones. But there are.” – Ripley
Alien: Resurrection is a film that shouldn’t have been made. At least not in its existing form. Ripley died but they bring Weaver back as some sort of clone made from her DNA that conveniently has her memories and is basically Ripley. It’s a terrible f’n attempt at keeping the franchise’s star at the forefront instead of just moving in a new direction, which was needed but didn’t happen until 2012’s Prometheus.
For the most part, this is a terrible film that at least has some good actors and a few cool bits in it. The stuff featuring Brad Dourif and his xenomorph captives is pretty well done. I also liked the look of the standard xenomorphs in this chapter.
People everywhere love Joss Whedon like he’s some sort of golden boy. Well, he wrote this script and the story and this is one of the prime examples I give when battling it out with Whedon fanboys. Did he have a few good ideas, sure. However, even the good ideas were pretty unrefined and made this feel more like a fan fiction fantasy than anything that fits cohesively within the already established Alien mythos.
The Ripley stuff was just dumb, the human/xenomorph hybrid was strange and bizarre and not in a good way and the whole tale just seemed like a pointless side story in some pocket of the Alien universe where I just didn’t care about a single character or their mission, even if Earth itself was in imminent danger.
It’s hard to believe that I didn’t care about anyone. I like Weaver, Ryder, Perlman, Dourif and Wincott a lot. They have all done things that have spoke to me and had me invested in their characters. I don’t in any way blame them, I blame Whedon’s weak script and the director, who was the first in the franchise that I am not even remotely familiar with. Okay, upon checking he did Amélie but that was after this and I haven’t seen it in a long time, so I can’t judge it. I kind of liked it back in 2001 or so, though.
Alien: Resurrection is an example of a major studio turning a property into their whore that has to keep turning tricks to keep making the pimp money.
The underwater sequence was kind of cool, so I do give this film some props for that. Usually underwater stuff comes off as terrible. But then, maybe this film should’ve focused on its strength and taken place entirely underwater. I’m being facetious, that would’ve been shitty.
Pairs well with: Other films in the Alien franchise but this one is one of the weakest.